Tips for Styling and Photographing Food
As you may know I photograph a lot of food and drink (mainly desserts actually😋) and so today I wanted to share a few tips with you that I’ve learned along the way! These are 5 simple ways to make your food photography stand out!
Add texture, depth and interest with plates, platters and linens. I almost never photograph a dish without a linen underneath or beside it. Below is an example of a photograph taken with and without a linen. Which do you feel more drawn to?
Natural light is best. I particularly like side light from a big window. One of my favorite places to photograph food and drink is on my kitchen counter, where I have a big window positioned slightly above and to the side of me. The picture to the right shows a picture of some soda where I zoomed out to show you the light source I am talking about.
Silverware is your compositional friend. Use it to create leading lines, strong diagonals, s-curves, etc. Below, in the ice cream photo, you can see how the spoons create a strong diagonal which leads your eye into the photograph to the bowl of ice cream. In the cupcake photo, your eyes should follow the fork at the bottom right hand of the frame into the photo, past a cupcake and on to the fork in the back and to the tray. This pattern mimics an s-curve. There are many other ways to use silverware to lead the eye around the frame too. Just keep these things in mind and play with it until it feels right!
When in doubt, add a garnish. It makes things look finished. Fresh herbs, a slice of fruit, you get the idea. I find this particularly important when it comes to photographing drinks, but it applies to all food photography.
As in all photography, simplicity is key. It can be tempting to add in all the props, but don’t clutter up your frame with unnecessary extras. Add just enough to make your real subject stand out and shine! Otherwise there will be too much going on and your viewer won’t know what to look at and so they will move on and the photograph will have no impact on them.